Newsletter 2 – 8/19/17

Weekly Highlights

This week we came together as a community to form our agreements! We used a word cloud that showed the different needs students in our classroom have to achieve their hopes and dreams.


After several days of brainstorming and consensus making, we decided on these:

  • Create a calm, peaceful environment.
  • Show kindness, respect, and support.
  • Push yourself in the risk zone.  Nicknamed: “Pushky”

We also jumpstarted our personal narrative unit. On Tuesday, we did our big memory museum to jog some ideas. We read some popular personal narratives and used them to make connections. We ended the week by writing short summaries of stories we’d like to explore.

In P3, we checked out the junior ranger eclipse packet – created by Bill Nye & the National Parks. We used a thumbtack and an index card to create a pinhole sun viewer.

Some language we’ve referenced in class that you may need at home:

  • agreements: classroom rules, created by students
  • hopes & dreams: the goals children set for themselves academically and in the community
  • crewlines: assigned lesson seats
  • work spots: independent work places (mostly assigned)
  • IDR: independent daily reading, a quiet reading time when students simply read a book they are interested in
  • flow: a state of being/feeling in which time doesn’t occur to the person because they are so engaged in what they are doing


–Please remember to check out our snack schedule on our General Info page
–Our Family Survey is still live – please fill it out if you haven’t already
–If your child will be absent for the day/part of the day on Monday to see the eclipse, please let us know.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What were some of the activities you did in morning meeting this week? How did they help the community?
  • What have you been reading during IDR? Stamina pushed to about 30 minutes this week, how have you stayed focused?
  • This week there was a focus on individuals sharing, both in morning meeting and in writing. Did you share? Why/why not? What did you learn about others?

Newsletter 1 – 8/11/17

Weekly Highlights


We spent the week building our community. We did some work to identify who the individuals in our community are, reflecting on shared interests, as well as identifying our hopes and dreams for the year.

Some of the basics about 5/6 can be found on our “General Information” page, including how to get in touch with us, snack schedule, the general schedule, etc.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. We will typically send more information about our week in our newsletter, but since the page above is a long read, we figured it would be enough for now.


  • TPS pool party is on August 25th at Bryan Park Pool
  • Fill out our family survey to let us know some more about your child.
  • We have an assignment kids need to complete by Tuesday in order to launch our writers unit. Please help your child bring their mementos in!

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • What did you learn about trajectory this week? How did your “goal launching” go?
  • What are some of the ways the 5/6 community is coming together?
  • When you reflected on safety, risk, and danger zones – what did you put in your risk zone? danger?
  • What read alouds have you done and what did you think about them?

Newsletter 35 – 6/19/17

Dear Families,

The end of the year is always so bittersweet for me and Mr. Jim. We love working with your children and you so deeply. We’ve all had such silly times, serious times, times to question, and times to answer.

Our final community project – the MAW is often overflowing with the feelings that come when something reaches an end – bursts of energy, struggles (and not) with patience and flexibility, a push for something big and great, something that unifies us, and something that we work on very hard and together. Thanks to so many of you for supporting not only our MAW last Tuesday, but also the work of the MAW, the work we’ve done all year long.

Some quick announcements~

  • We have a few pairs of shoes from the MAW that we will hold onto until next year if you want to claim them.
  • Our Zine is currently for sale at Boxcar Books, Hopscotch Coffee, and Gather! Please encourage your family and friends to purchase it.
  • If your child did not receive their copy of the zine for free, we will be holding these copies through early next year – additionally, I’m super happy to drop them by (seriously!)

Below are some photos from the MAW and the last days of school. Please feel free to reach out to me and/or to Jim with questions you have about the end of the school year/next school year. We’ll do our best to respond promptly.

Newsletter 34 – 6/4/17

Voice of 5/6

This is your Voice of 5/6 update.  A small group of students met during lunch on Friday to comment on the events of the week and share highlights with families. The contributors for this week are Tori, Surya, Phoenix and Zadyn.

In MAW we worked on our theme.  We have been meeting in groups to plan.  We finalized the exhibit plans and started making signs. We had a vote on who is going to be in each committee.  MAW is pretty fun.  It is one of our big projects.  We are putting a lot of time into the project.  We get to work with new people and it is fun to be involved.

In Readers Workshop we have been reading a book centered on one theme.  Most of us have finished our novel. We have moved on to picture books.  We are looking for picture books with the same theme.  Then we are looking for a poem with the same theme. Most people are finding that finding the poem is difficult.  Others think that the picture books are tough to match with a novel.

In Performing Arts we have been working on playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the ukulele.  We have been thinking about the meaning of the song.  In Visual Arts we are working on Pop ART and connecting it to our P3 project on food, bees and migrant workers.

In Writers we worked on our spring On Demand piece.  We wrote stories at the beginning of the year.  We looked at them and rewrote and fixed them up to show what we learned about writing this year.  Our stories are much better now.

We finished NWEA testing.  

The noise level in the cafeteria has been a problem.  It has been too loud and some complaints have been made.  Recess has been pretty calm.  


We are going on two field trips this week! We could still use two chaperones (one for each day) for the library trips!

On Tuesday – Dreams goes to Mather’s Museum @ 9:00 and Hopes goes to Library @ 10:20. Both back before 11:30.
On Thursday – Hopes goes to Mather’s Museum @ 9:20 and Dreams goes to Library @ 10:20. Both back before 11:30.
PLANTS – We are planning on sending home plants this week from our P3 unit. Our hope is that these splendiferous plants will bloom and blossom some delicious eats for you and your family members in the next weeks. Students can use a pot from school, but if you have your own pot (~10-12inch) please send it in on Wednesday. We plan on sending home tomato plants or pepper plants because we have so many of them!
We need perhaps one person or two to send in snack for these last two days. If you’re willing, let me (Kalei) know.

Newsletter 33 – 5/26/17

We went to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum!

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We had many, many great takeaways that we will be applying to our MAW exhibits & displays. In the next few weeks we’ll be working to bring forward our theme – stepping into someone’s shoes – in our exhibits. Half of us will be visiting the Mather’s Museum on June 6th & June 8th to consult with an educational outreach museum staffer to learn more about docenting. We’ll also be traveling to the library those two days with the other half the group to continue our study of theme through picture book, poetry, novel.

Another piece we did this week was introduce the pop-art project for P3. We planned what we want our pop art to showcase from plants, invitations, etc.

Students have also generated ideas about where we’d like to sell/distribute our Zine! We have a list of businesses/organizations we hope to reach out to – let me (Kalei) know if you have any personal connections to these businesses and if you feel comfortable approaching them together!

-Half price books
-Boxcar books
-Book Corner
-Square donuts
-Farmers market?
-Barnes and Noble
-Monroe County Public Library?
-Clinic where James mom works?
-Vintage Phoenix
-Rainbow Bakery
-City Hall?
-Chocolate Moose
-Game Preserve
-Bean & bicycle
-Tiny libraries?

We did all three NWEA tests this past week as a whole group and several kids have tests to finish/complete in small groups in the next week.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What were/are your observations on the exhibits at the museum?
  • How is your engagement at this point in the year? How are you focusing, feeling, etc.?
  • What is your MAW group thinking about doing for your exhibit?

Newsletter 32 – 5/21/17

Voices of 5/6

This is your Voice of 5/6 update.  A small group of students met during lunch on Friday to comment on the events of the week and share highlights with families. The contributors for this week are Willa, Oliver, Surya, Phoenix, Emily and Grayson.

In MAW we have figured out our MAW groups.  We have started planning.  We also have our theme for the MAW.  This year it will be fantasy combined with perspectives.  We don’t have a title yet but we are working to find one.

In Readers we each picked out a theme and we searched for books that matched our theme.  When we are done we will read a picture book and a poem with the same themes. We have been working towards total understanding of our topics.  We are making predictions about what will happen in our books. We are working to find how the theme connects to our book.

In arts we saw a 7-8 rehearsal of The Cradle will Rock. We started learning how to play Over the Rainbow on the Ukulele.  We also discussed image in the music industry.  In visual arts we are wrapping up ABC books, mazes and optical illusions.  We also worked on reflections on our art work.

We have started NWEA testing.  We are finished with the Reading NWEA.  Next week we will do Language Usage.

Next week will be exciting because we are going to the Children’s Museum.  That will help us with our displays for the MAW.  On Thursday we go to field day at Yard Dog Farm.  Then Friday we have no school.


  • We attend the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis on Tuesday 5/23! We will leave school around 8:30 and return to school in the afternoon!
  • Field day is on Thursday, 5/25 – below is a list of items your child can bring.
  • Make up school pictures are tomorrow. Ms. Mallory has a schedule of people who have pre-arranged make up pictures.
  • Our zine-work-release forms went home last week (with two students’ as the exception). Please send these back as soon as you can as we will be brainstorming how/when to publish our zine.
  • Conferences are in progress – remember we do not have school on 5/26 because it is conference day.
  • Our MAW work has started, please let us know if you’d like to be involved with helping kids construct their museum exhibits.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • How have your CPR communication studies influenced how you talk with your friends?
  • (for kiddos not in LLI) What theme did you choose for your novel/picture book/chapter book study?
  • What did you think of the 7/8 play? How did the actors communicate the metaphors and themes of this piece?
  • What is your new invitation and what questions are you most excited to pursue?

Field Day (Thanks for the list Ms. Cindy!)

Our class will be going to Ms. Sara’s for Field Day on Thursday! Students should be dressed for the weather and should have:

  • tennis shoes for a hike
  • swimsuit and towel if they want to get wet
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • a lunch unless they pre-ordered it from school
  • water bottle labeled with their name
  • change of clothes
  • books/games
  • NO electronics are allowed at field day

Newsletter 31 – 5/14/17

Voice of 5/6

This is your Voice of 5/6 update.  A small group of students met during lunch on Friday to comment on the events of the week and share highlights with families. The contributors for this week are Quenten, Sabrah, Lucy, Alden, Silas and Logan.

We started working on the MAW this week.  We signed up for committees.  There will be a steering committee along with committees for HONK, fantasy writing, zines, ABC books, design math, news and the election, legal literacy, science, and others.  Our class is really excited to work together to make the MAW happen.

This week in Writers Workshop we have been working to finish our “zine” projects.  We have all been getting a lot of work done and we are focused and enjoying it.  We have been reluctant to stop working.

In Readers Workshop we are working on political cartoons.  We have been planning political cartoons.  We made our cartoons on the subjects we have been researching in the news.  The cartoons have been about criminal justice, the gender pay gap, climate change, the President and other topics.  We feel great about the work but this has been a fun challenge.

In visual arts we have been making ABC books, optical illusions and mazes.  In the optical illusions she has taught us the circle in the optical illusion should be shaded to be a light source.  The ABC books are using unusual things that connect to the letter of the alphabet.  This has been a long and challenging project.

Anne Corrigan from WFIU came and spoke to the class about local food.  She creates the program/podcast Earth Eats.  She answered our questions about food, migrant workers, bees and food labels.  She shared a podcast she made about persimmons as a local source of food.



You can see the finished versions of zine pages, political cartoons, and ABC Books/Mazes on Fresh Grade. Kids are uploading them as they are getting done!

Reminder! We have an upcoming  trip to the Indy Children’s Museum on May 23rd to launch and link to the MAW. We are going to put kiddos on the task of exploring the museum and finding elements they hope to incorporate into their fabulous exhibits come June 13th. We’re hoping to collect $6 from each family (or more if you want to donate) to help with the cost of the trip. No child will be prevented from going on this trip due to an inability to pay. If you are interested in attending as a chaperone, please let Kalei know ASAP! We need about 6-8 parents to go with us. Chaperones will go through the museum with a small group (6-8 kids) to look for museum elements.

The Bobo book permission forms will be due by the end of the week. Bobo Books is a partnership we did with a local poetry professor. She’ll be compiling collaborative poems from 5/6, 4/5/6, and 7/8 into a book that will sell on amazon. The profit will come to the school to support our diversifying our libraries. We have about half the permission forms we need, if you need another copy, they are attached – Contributor Form.

In two weeks – we’ll be at the Children’s Museum AND Field Day. Please let us know if your child needs a sack lunch for either of these trips! We’ll need to know this by 5/16.

Conference letters have gone out – please schedule with Kalei or Jim as soon as you can!

We are traveling to the Ivy Tech John Waldron Center for a rehearsal of the 7/8 show on Tuesday morning.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What pieces of work did you complete this week? What do you feel proud of and why?
  • How is your political cartoon a reflection of what you’ve read in the news?
  • You worked on giving advice to classmates this week about struggles that have been popping up at recess. What did you think about this process? What issues have come up that you’ve seen/been a part of?
  • How are you feeling about the upcoming field trips?